Monday, December 31, 2012

Blog Challenge #15: 10 Things I've learned about being the ePub agent in 2012

Photo by Saritza Hernandez
If I could go back in time and leave myself a note about becoming a literary agent, what would I tell myself? What have I really learned about being an ePub Agent, the first in the industry and one of the first to approach digitally-pubbed authors with an opportunity to have a partner in their career?

I suppose the best way to do so is to do a Top Ten list. So here are the top ten things I learned about being an ePub Agent in 2012.

1. Go with your instincts and don't let your authors deviate you from them. Your gut's never steered you wrong.

2. Authors need guidance as well as a partner in business. Be ready to not just talk them down but to lift them up as well.

3. Business and friendship don't always mesh. Be ready to part ways with one if your friend is also your client.

4. Digital publishers have authors who are sometimes blindly loyal to them. Warn your clients about this but understand that sometimes it's better to just let them learn the hard way.

5. It's ok to not represent every book your client writes and be ok expressing that to them. Let them decide what they want to do with it and be encouraging of their choice either way.

6. Take breaks from the business every quarter and recharge your batteries. It can be a weekend or a week but make it a time you spend doing things you enjoy like spending time with your friends and family, reading a guilty pleasure book or just getting away from it all by unplugging.

7. Don't compare one client to another. While some may have similar writing styles and genres they are individuals and their needs and goals are very different. Be ready to work with each client's needs individually.

8. You're not always going to be the bearer of good news and at times, you may even be painted as the enemy to your client by those in their circle for one reason or another. Grow a pair, develop that thick skin and be ready to remind your client about their goals and career path and prepare to walk away from that client if necessary.

9. Don't bad mouth anyone in this industry. People may talk shit about you or your industry but they shoot themselves in the foot when they do that. If you can't do business with people without disparaging comments about them why do business with them in the first place?

10. This is the most exciting and scary business to be in and an experience I wouldn't trade for the world. Have fun! The day you don't find it fun and rewarding, walk away and do what brings you joy. Life is too short not to!